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Posted workers deal Estonian presidency’s greatest achievement yet

Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and Jevgeni Ossinovski, Oct. 23, 2017.
Commissioner Marianne Thyssen and Jevgeni Ossinovski, Oct. 23, 2017. Source: (European Council)

The Council reached an agreement on its position (general approach) on the posting of workers directive. The new proposal revises certain elements of the original 1996 directive.

The EU’s council of social affairs ministers reached an agreement on Monday on the issue of the posted workers directive. The directive regulates legislation regarding what workers temporarily posted to another EU member state should be paid in relation to the local salary level.

The new proposal revises elements of the original directive, which dates back to 1996. As the current president of the council, Estonian Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) said, there is broad support for the current compromise.

“I am happy that the council agreed its position on such an important and sensitive issue. And I’m especially glad that after long negotiations, there was broad support for our compromise. The final text strikes a delicate balance. On one hand, it is essential to ensure that our workers are treated fairly. People who do the same job at the same place should also have the same working and wage conditions. On the other, we must not create unnecessary obstacles to the free movement of services, for example in the transport sector that is mobile by nature,” Ossinovski said.

The directive protects the rights of employees who are temporarily sent to another EU member state on work assignments (so-called posted workers). The revised directive will provide for the following:

  • Workers get paid in accordance with host country laws and practices
  • Long-time postings of up to 18 months are possible on the basis of a so-called motivated notification
  • Collective work agreements can be applied across all industrial sectors
  • Temporary and local workers are treated equally
  • All rules and legislation applicable to how local workers are paid also apply to posted workers

There are special provisions for the transport sector, in the case of which the directive will be applied in combination with other legislation to enter into force. There is also a three-year transition period as well as one more year before the revised directive enters into effect.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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